Artificial intelligence (AI) experts have been invited to join the hunt for exoplanets by the Ariel Data Challenge 2023 which launched earlier this month on 14 April. AI experts will help a new space mission to investigate Earth’s place in the universe.
In recent years, scientists have discovered more than 5000 planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy because of the telescopes in space, according to the press statement by Ariel Space Mission. These planets are known as exoplanets or extrasolar planets.
The European Space Agency’s Ariel telescope will complete one of the largest-ever surveys of these planets by observing the atmospheres of around one-fifth of the known exoplanets. However, as there are a significant number of planets in the survey and expected complexities, scientists are turning to AI and machine learning experts to help interpret the data.
“AI has revolutionised many fields of science and industry in the past years. The field of exoplanets has fully arrived in the era of big data and cutting-edge AI is needed to break some of our biggest bottlenecks holding us back,” said Dr Ingo Waldmann, Associate Professor in Astrophysics, UCL (University College London) and Ariel Data Challenge lead in the statement.
The Ariel Data Challenge 2023 is inviting AI and machine learning experts from industry and academia to help understand planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets. The competition offers participants access to High Powered Computing resources through DiRAC, part of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council’s computing facilities, according to the statement.
Ariel will examine the light from each exoplanet’s host star after it has travelled through the planet’s atmosphere – a phenomenon known as a spectrum. The information from these spectra can help in the investigation of the chemical makeup of the planet’s atmosphere and better understand these planets and how they formed. However, scientists need a new method to interpret the data and advanced machine learning techniques could be a way.
“With the arrival of next-generation instrumentation, astronomers are struggling to keep up with the complexity and volume of incoming exo-planetary data. The ECML-PKDD data challenge 2023 provides an excellent platform to facilitate cross-disciplinary solutions with AI experts,” said Kai Hou (Gordon) Yip, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCL and Ariel Data Challenge Lead.
The winners will be invited to present their solutions at the prestigious ECML conference. The top three winning teams will receive sponsored tickets to ECML-PKDD in Turing or the cash equivalent. They are also invited to present their solutions to the Ariel consortium, the statement explains.
The Ariel Data Challenge is open until 18 June 2023.